It's not happy people who are grateful, it's grateful people who are happy.
I found that the single most difficult thing about quitting the booze was dealing with stress and anxiety.
For years, or decades even, we have reached for a glass of our favourite tipple whenever the going got tough, 'to take the edge off.'
For me, this became such an ingrained habit that I'd automatically anaesthetise even the smallest stresses. (Uh oh, the telephone's ringing, better have a glass of vino).
So, when we quit, dealing with all of that day to day stuff, raw, is a bit of a shock.
That's why, whenever I attempted Dry January, I'd generally choose a start date of January 5th. Firstly, it knocked a few days of the month, and secondly because the beginning of January can be a bit stressful.
Yesterday was a case in point.
I had to get everything packed up and cleaned ready to move the family back home from skiing in the Swiss Alps to London, involving one taxi, one train, one plane and one car journey.
We were due to get home 10pm, with kids starting school 8.30am the next day (aarrrgghhh!).
Added to which, I knew that on my return I'd be back to earth with a huge bump, dealing with the flood in our cellar, the two pounds I've gained over Christmas, the annual tax return, and the biggie.
'The biggie' is the fact that over the last week I've managed really successfully to forget about the whole cancer thing. I've hardly thought about it, after two months of thinking about little else.
But now I have to get back to the reality of check ups and starting a ten year course of Tamoxifen.
In the old days I would have drunk my way through a day like yesterday. Not getting drunk (it took quite a lot to get me drunk by that stage), but providing a constant blur to all the stress.
A glass or two while packing, one at the airport, one on the plane (more if I could brave the disapproval of the air hostess), and the best part of a bottle on returning home.
So I'm always looking for new ways of relieving stress. Usually I'd do a bit of 'time out.' A hot bath, a good book, a slice of cake. No good, however, if you have to travel hundreds of miles.
Well, apparently GRATITUDE is the new Mindfulness. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pierce Brosnan, Barack Obama, and many more, swear by it.
Oprah insists that the 'gratitude diary' she's been keeping for the last twenty years is the most important thing she has done in her life.
Twitter is suddenly littered with #gratitude (accompanied by sick making pictures of minor celebrities doing improbable yoga poses in jaw dropping locations).
There's science behind it too.
Psychologists have shown that gratitude is linked to better sleep, less anxiety and depression, sounder relationships and higher long-term satisfaction with life.
It even makes us healthier, and Janice Kaplan, author of 'The Gratitude Diaries' swears that being grateful for our food can make us thinner.
The bestselling self-help book The Secret takes the concept of gratitude even further, claiming:
Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things.
What's not to like?
So I gave it go. I took my list of all the things that were stressing me out, and turned it on it's head.
Instead of fretting about the journey, I focused on what a great holiday we'd had.
Kids back to school equals more free time - yay!
Thank goodness we'd found the mains pipe leak in our cellar before we went away and were able to turn the water off.
A two pound weight gain is nothing compared to the eight pounds I'd have gained over a boozy Christmas.
Well done me earning (just) enough cash last year to qualify for a tax return.
And, the biggie: Thank you, thank you Universe, for the fact that I'm currently (as far as they can tell) cancer free.
And you know what? IT WORKS!
I went from dreading the day to feeling positively buoyant.
So, next time you hit a bump in the road and it makes you really, really want a drink, remember this one:
There are people out there who would love to have your bad days...
.....and have a hot chocolate instead. Or an AF beer.
(I do have to confess that I did need a crate of Becks Blue by the time I got home, despite all the Gratitude stuff).
Love to you all, and Thank you!